The Philippines is called the Pearl of the Orient Seas with 36,289 kms of coastline. The country has the world’s second highest number of seagrasses growing along its coasts where 18 species of seagrass thrive on the Philippine coastline. Only Western Australia has more than that being 30 species in total. But, what makes Philippine special is the abundance of seaweed where almost 893 species have been identified so far. Worldwide there are 9000 species of seaweed consisting of three types, red-brown and green. Seaweed is known for its health properties but there is one particular species that grows in Philippines is what scientists are excited about because it has anti-cancer properties.
1A helpful culinary ingredient used in foods but with anti-cancer properties
Known as Pukpuklo, the finger algae is a popular culinary ingredient in Philipines that is used in salads, dishes and health meals in almost every part of the country. Pukpulo is now being regarded as a good source of iron where people also consume it raw, with mango or with grilled fish.
2Rich in amino acids
Pukpuklo like all seaweed is rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals as well as other essential nutrients. However, its cancer-fighting properties were yet to be studied and now scientists at the University of Santo Tomas have found something incredible. It fights cancer. They have found that polysaccharides contained in the seaweed can battle cancer and even control the spread of cancer cells.
3Pokpoklo fights cancer causing enzymes
Research in the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) discovered that Pokpoklo can fight harmful enzymes that damage and destroy cells. These enzymes are also responsible for cell metastasis and the spread of cancer to other cells of organs and tissues of the body.
4The seaweed also had skin beneficial properties
The researchers studied the inhibitory abilities of the polysaccharides which are carbohydrates that are made up of several sugar molecules isolated from the codium species. Apart from the anti-cancer properties, the seaweed have also shown that is it’s beneficial for skin in many ways. Tests on rats that were exposed to radiation and treated with the seaweed were found to show healthy skin growth and faster healing of wounds.
5Good for health and fat loss
That being said, there has been research that has discovered a variety of benefits in consuming seaweed for skin, health and fat loss. Seaweed contains an ingredient called fucoxanthin which is an active carotenoid found in brown algae. In fact, the active ingredient is also being developed into a supplement that targets harmful fat and will be used for weight loss.